Teachers Jam Traffic in Chicago as Union Negotiations Over In-Person Learning Stall

Members of the Chicago Teachers Union staged a “car caravan” protest on January 10, creating traffic jams near City Hall to protest against in-person learning and what they said was a lack of COVID-19 safety measures in Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

The Chicago Tribune reported CPS canceled classes for the fourth day on Monday as Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the union struggled to negotiate. The majority of classes would be canceled for a fifth day on Tuesday due to staffing shortages, the report said.

“The mayor continues to stubbornly reject our reasonable proposals on testing, appearing almost philosophically opposed to it,” the Chicago Teachers Union wrote on Facebook on Monday. “We are caravaning to show the mayor and the city we are united and strong.”

Lightfoot tweeted on January 8, “@CTULocal1 leadership, you’re not listening. The best, safest place for kids to be is in school. Students need to be back in person as soon as possible. That’s what parents want. That’s what the science supports. We will not relent.”

Videos filmed by CPS teacher Sami Jarroush, who participated in Monday’s protest action, show traffic backed up on West Washington Street and North Dearborn Street near City Hall.

The protest drew criticism online for blocking the way of a fire truck, which can be seen in video filmed by Jarroush. Credit: @USAHistory101 via Storyful

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